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Watertown Welcomes Acyoa Juniors for Hye M’rtsoom

Over Memorial Day weekend, the St. James Church of Watertown, MA, welcomed a record-breaking 223 participants from 15 parishes across the Diocese for the annual ACYOA Juniors Hye M’rtsoom. The program brought together young people ages 13 to 18 for worship, as well as for sports and other activities.
All events were held at the St. James Church’s Charles Mosesian Cultural and Youth Center, and participants were housed with local families. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, visited participants on Saturday, May 25, while the sporting events were taking place. The Diocese’s Youth Outreach coordinator, Jennifer Morris, was present throughout the weekend, and delivered the “Insights” message at the conclusion of the morning service on Saturday.



PRESS OFFICE
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686-0710; Fax: (212) 779-3558
E-mail: publicrelations@armeniandiocese.org
Website: www.armenianchurch-ed.net
June 5, 2013
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Over Memorial Day weekend, the St. James Church of Watertown, MA, welcomed a record-breaking 223 participants from 15 parishes across the Diocese for the annual ACYOA Juniors Hye M’rtsoom. The program brought together young people ages 13 to 18 for worship, as well as for sports and other activities.
All events were held at the St. James Church’s Charles Mosesian Cultural and Youth Center, and participants were housed with local families. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Diocesan Primate, visited participants on Saturday, May 25, while the sporting events were taking place. The Diocese’s Youth Outreach coordinator, Jennifer Morris, was present throughout the weekend, and delivered the “Insights” message at the conclusion of the morning service on Saturday.
Strong competitions and stellar sportsmanship led to an enjoyable day of sports on both Saturday and Sunday. Participants also had a chance to lead a discussion about everyday questions and struggles young people face in today’s world.
In addition, the weekend featured two outreach projects, organized by the St. James ACYOA Juniors. The first was a sandwich-making project for a local community shelter, where an assembly line was set up in the kitchen as teens and parents made 130 sandwiches for the Pine Street Inn in Boston.
The second project was a gift card drive, where participants donated gift cards to benefit the Home of the Little Wanderers, which offers children and young adults behavioral health, special education, adoption, foster care, and other services.
On Sunday, May 26, the Rev. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, parish pastor, celebrated the Divine Liturgy, which was attended by all Hye M’rtsoom participants. After services, participants gathered to watch the intense sports finals.
The team sport champions are: St. James Church of Watertown, MA (Boys Basketball), Holy Trinity Church of Cambridge, MA (Girls Basketball), and St. Leon Church of Fair Lawn, NJ (Co-ed Volleyball).  The “Chapter ‘A’ Award” was presented to Sts. Sahag and Mesrob ACYOA Juniors of Providence, RI. The “Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan Service Award” was presented to Ariana Ferarro of Holy Translators Church of Framingham, MA. The “Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan Leadership Award” was presented to Hagop Toghramadjian of St. Sahag Church of Minneapolis, MN, and the “Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan Vision Award” was presented to Ari Kazanjian of St. James Church of Watertown.
On Sunday evening the group enjoyed a moonlight cruise on the Spirit of Boston.
The St. James parish has been hosting the Hye M’rtsoom for 38 years. Fr. Arakel Aljalian, Yn. Natasha Aljalian, and St. James youth minister Maria Derderian worked alongside community members to ensure the success of the weekend’s events.
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Photos attached.
Photo 1: Young people play chess during the weekend program in Watertown.
Photo 2: ACYOA Juniors take part in the Divine Liturgy at St. James Church.
Photo 3: Young people make sandwiches as part of an outreach program during Hye M’rtsoom.
Photo 4: A basketball game at St. James Church’s Charles Mosesian Cultural and Youth Center.

PublicRelations [publicrelations@armeniandiocese.org]

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